Shitty day. Shitty people. Just shit.
Anonymous asked: I was born and raised in the US and I dealt with colorism from a very young age too and even now--where I'm almost 20--I still sort of have issues with my skin tone. Because I will always hear my parents talk about how beautiful some girl/guy is and how "fair" they are--and here I am as someone who isn't fair. And it's just so hard to get over, I hate it so much. I have such a complex about my sk color
I know hun. I feel ya. I would tell you that you’re beautiful, and not to doubt yourself. But such a statement only has a lasting impact if it’s evoked from within. It has to be self generated to be self sustaining.
I do find that even then, it never really leaves you. Even when you finally build a ironclad self-esteem and you use that to protect yourself, every now and then, these comments and experiences will creep their way in and wear away your esteem. And it’ll break momentarily. Just always remember to rebuild it. I know it’s tiring and exhausting, and I wish it was different.
Do whatever it takes to preserve your self.
For me, experience with colorism goes way back. It’s not a recent thing in the age of marriageability. No, it goes back to when my sister was born, back to Pakistan. Though, I can’t remember from exactly when she was born cos I was 3. But I remember when I was 5, it was the first time I heard color being used to describe someone. With me, people would say, oh you’re cute. With my sister, it would be ‘oh, look at how fair she is’ ‘oh she’s fair, she’s going to be a beautiful doll when she grows up’. I remember when I was may be 7, one of our neighbours commented that my sister should have been born where I was born (USA), and I should have been born where she was born (a small rural village in Pakistan). I knew it was a comment about our appearance. I remember, as I got older, people would comment on her appearance, where as for me, they would say, oh you must be studious/very smart (which I good I guess but yah). And I was about 8, when I used a whitening cream that was sitting on a dresser. My uncle scolded me, and told my mom, and my mom didn’t really see it as a big deal. I remember when my older female cousins hit puberty, I was 10ish. And both of them use to be dark, but I saw them one summer and they were mature and womanly and also lighter. They also use to wear green contacts whenever they went out. And I wanted to look like that. I remember I kept pestering my mom and asking her to ask their mom how they got so light all of a sudden and if they had any tips. So my cousins told my mom they drink Nido milk (lmao), and that helps skin, and also use fair and lovely. So I asked my mom to bring this powdered milk and I did start drinking it. After that, the instances are too numerous to count
Anonymous asked: Did your fixation on white beauty coincide with you moving to Canada and being exposed to a different aesthetic? Or were the roots of it already there because of certain 'cultural baggage' (ie colorism in the desi community)? Or both? I know light skin is favored but I wasn't aware light hair and eyes were prized as well. Interesting. I'm glad you had the strength to shift from that mindset-- it effects a lot of women of color living in the West. But thankfully, many start to challenge it.
It definitely took root while I was still Pakistani. I can write stories on instances where as a kid, I felt alienated because of my darker complexion, even before I really understood it completely. Same with eye color, especially because my mom has green eyes and everyone would always comment on what a tragedy it was that we didn’t get her light skin or eyes. My sister and I still joke about how high our ‘market value’ in the rishta department would be, if we had green eyes. As sad as that is.
The hair fascination was something I picked up here, so not from Pakistan. Although, 2 childhood friends I knew back home had light brown hair and it was met with fascination but not it wasn’t the same as it is with skin color, where light skin is something you aspire to have. Dark black hair is still valued.
I do remember very distinctly though, when I found out my nose was too big and not appropriate. And that happened here. It was a brown boy, 1 or 2 years younger than me, who had pointed out my nose was huge. I was 14 may be. Before than, I legit had no idea it was big. Big compared to whose, you know. And that’s when I realized it was big and that, that wasn’t a good thing. And then I became aware of how different brown people’s noses were. I imagine it got worse here, since I was even more inundated with standards of white beauty but yah.
Yah honestly, it’s hard. I wouldn’t even know how to advise young girls. It’s just so unfortunate. =(
Being a young girl is such an emotionally taxing phase, now that I reflect on it. It’s a period ridden with doubt, and low self-esteem and a desire to appease people, probably due to the aforementioned.
I mean, I was thinking, from 13-22, I use to spend so much time carefully observing other women- white women. Their features- their small noses, their white skin, their eye shape, their light eyes, their straight and light hair. Wondering why it was so beautiful, but mostly, wishing I had it. I spent even more timing checking out every facet of desi women who looked white, again wishing with even more fervor, that I was them. I wondered what it would be like to be them, and have everyone admire you.
I think it was obsessive, the amount of time I spent examining other women and admiring and aspiring for their beauty. And only when I built some confidence did I gain some awareness, and was able to look back at that and realized how toxic it was. I don’t wish it upon any girl, and I hope any girls experiencing this limbo find their way out.
Haha as you say anon. Hello back. And Khair Mubarak. Hope all is well. Thanks for the wishes :D
People’s boy problems are endearing. I’ll just have my quarter life crisis on the side ova here.
chhoone de honth tere
zara sansoon mein apni basaa
Everything runs its course. Even feelings
Been easier. Not guilt ridden this time.
I did a measurement on a very small baby, my smallest yet. 1300 g. These little buggers are growing on me. I was afraid of breaking them for 1.5 year but now that I got over that, and can comfortably handle them, it’s different. I do hate one of the measurements I have to subject these tiny prems to.
Kash tum apne app ko meri ankhon se dekh sektay
I already got screwed, cos I didn’t get co authorship where i deserved.. and im wondering if they’re gonna do it to me again